May 25, 2011
Been wondering for a while now whatever happened to "Cocoa Tea", his "Obama" album isn't exactly new anymore. As i was surfing around i found this article on "The Gleamer" where he reveals he got a new album coming, hopefully we will not have to wait till next year as he hints.
He's also droping a few lines on the current state of Reggae and it's future.
"....However, the overall project 'Whe De Reggae Deh?' speaks to something that he says people are asking about when he does performances outside Jamaica. "Everywhere I go in the world, people ask me where the reggae gone from in Jamaica. People are saying we are trying to export hip hop, rather than import hip hop and export reggae," Cocoa Tea said.
He said the queries have come across Europe, England, the USA and Canada, as well as Japan. "People used to the type of reggae that we sing. It is music that can inspire a people and a nation," Cocoa Tea said. That is in contrast to a lot of music being produced in Jamaica now, which Cocoa Tea said "is about dancing and the riddim."
Read the whole piece here:
May 10, 2011
There already is a documentary about Lee Perry consisting mostly of him talking bout stuff in front of the camera, without any history, archival videos or anything. Now there's a more complete movie around who seem to tell the complete story of "The Uppsetter" and im very excited about it.
Hopefully there will be a DVD out soon, this is one movie i have to get. While waiting, go and check out the website at:
May 9, 2011
We read a lot about how the rootsreggae stars of the 70 ies are dying of one by one and it is sad that we are loosing a whole generation of artists much appreciated. It's enlightening and much needed to hear about players from way back when that is still doing good. Earl Zero may not be the most prolific of all the acts from "the golden era of reggae" but he sure is the real deal and seem to be doing great both health and career wise. Last years "And god said to man" was a great throwback to the 70ies sound with live instrumentation and high quality work all the way and now we got "Market place" who promises the same organic, high quality vibes as the previous album.
It both is and isn't at the same time, we get tons of live instrumentation and high quality vibes but the feel and sound they went for is completely different. The first song is "Get up", an energetic track with a heavy "rockers" vibe to it, i kinda get a Bob Marley feel when listening to it, like as if he was still alive today and did a song trying to cross over to the masses. I don't say this in an negative way, even though it's very far from what i usually listens to it's not bad, if you like songs that's 50% rock and 50% reggae this is a great track with all it's wailing guitars, piano etc.. Second song "Black mans time" sounds way more "Reggae" than the first song with a distinct back-beat and typical conscious lyrics fusing black pride with a RastafarI message. This is easily the most rootsy song on the album and one of my favorites on here.
Pretty good also is track 4, "Back up in the woods" where he looks back at how things where in Kingston back in the day. It has a slight back-beat but also a strong rock vibe to it. The lyrics are very interesting and very much ads to the songs quality. There's a coupla dubs on here as well such as "Lion dubs again" which i guess is okay if u are into dub music. Im no huge fan of dub and cant decide whether it's better or worse than a lot of other dubs. Last song before the 2 finishing dub tracks is "I love you little darling", Earl might sing about doing things "in a roots man stylee'" but the song feels very funky with a heavy bass presence an plenty of assorted sound effects.
Being a good reviewer (I try to be) you have to be able to look beyond your own taste sometimes and determine if an album is of high quality regardless of what you think of it. That's what i did here, being honest im not all that crazy about this album. It's too much rock and influences from other genres to really get me going, sure the reggae's still there and this ain't no sell out a'la Ini Kamoze 's "Lyrical gangsta" but im too much of an purist to really appreciate this album. Still, denying that it's a high quality product from start to finish would be unfair. It's nice to see old veterans still doing good and still being relevant so in a weird, indirect kind of way i still dig this album. Have a good listen to it before you decide to buy it though, it will alienate a lot of listeners (but then again, it's on Ernie B's top seller list so maybe not).